"Classroom Guide to The First Amendment in a Digital Age" by The First Amendment Center
Dec. 12, 2011 – Washington, D.C. – This Thursday, in celebration of the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights and particularly the First Amendment, students nationwide between the ages of 14 and 22 can enter to win one of 22 $5,000 scholarships by sharing via social media how they enjoy their right to free expression.
In addition to the scholarship contest, “Free to Tweet” encourages Americans of all ages to join in reinvigorating national celebration of Bill of Rights Day by expressing their appreciation for the First Amendment on social media.
All student posts including the hash tag #freetotweet will be considered for the scholarship competition. Only one tweet is required for entry, however students are encouraged to be creative and enter as many times as they wish using any social media platform, including blogs.
The competition begins at midnight on Dec. 15 and continues for 24 hours. More information, including contest rules, frequently asked questions and judging criteria, is available at FreeToTweet.org.
Bill of Rights Day was first established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in late November of 1941. Just days later, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United States entered World War II. The holiday declaration was largely forgotten.
“Free to Tweet is a dynamic, multi-platform effort to rekindle appreciation for freedoms we dare not take for granted,” said Ken Paulson, a founder of the 1 for All campaign and president of the American Society of News Editors. “We hope all Americans, especially students, will take time to recognize Bill of Rights Day on Dec. 15 and share their appreciation for the First Amendment.”
Joining in support of 1 for All (1forAll.us) and the “Free to Tweet” campaign are performing artists such as Ke$ha, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Frankie Ballard, Joe Nichols, Wynonna Judd, Darius Rucker, John Oates, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Civil Wars, Sarah Jarosz, Elenowen, Jana Kramer and Joanna Smith. These celebrities, along with educators, reporters, and other Americans nationwide, will be tweeting on Dec. 15.
Also part of 1 for All’s daylong celebration of the First Amendment on Dec. 15, the Newseum in Washington D.C. will host an afternoon conference exploring the role of social media in shaping young people’s sense of First Amendment principles. Educators and members of the public can RSVP to attend the free gathering.
Students can enter the scholarship competition by tweeting a message of support – using the hash tag #freetotweet – for the First Amendment. The tweet can be self-contained or link to original content on a website or other social media platform. A panel of educators and First Amendment experts will review the entries and award 22 $5,000 scholarships, one for every decade since the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Judging criteria and complete rules can be found at FreeToTweet.org.
“Free to Tweet” is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and organized by 1 for All, an unprecedented educational and public service campaign that builds understanding of the First Amendment and its five distinct freedoms: speech, press, religion, assembly and petition.
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About 1 for All
1 for All is a non-partisan, educational campaign that was launched in 2010 to address a general lack of awareness by the American public about the five freedoms afforded by the First Amendment. Initial support for campaign was provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Newseum, McCormick Foundation, American Society of News Editors, First Amendment Center and Gannett Foundation. In addition, more than 1,000 news organizations, religious groups and educational institutions have devoted their time and resources in support of the 1 for All campaign. More information at 1forall.us.
About Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. More information at knightfoundation.org.
Nate West, Seigenthaler Public Relations, (615) 327-7999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.